Strict rules regulate the whale watching and protect the whales:
The number of boats licensed to go whale watching is limited to 43. Only three boats are allowed in the observation area at one time. Whale watch boats wanting to watch the same whales as a boat out on observation must wait in the designated waiting area, 250 meters away from the observing boat. Boats may approach to within 80 meters (270 feet) of a mother and calf and 50 meters (165 feet) to all other groups of whales. Equally strict rules regulate speed and manoeuvring of the boats as well as the air traffic over Samaná Bay.
Twenty years ago Dr. Bob Labdon ( Cape Cod Veterinary Association) and Dr. Jay Mirriam ( Massachusetts Equine and Equitarian Project) became aware of the plight of poor Samaná animals and formed Project Samaná with one week operatives every June and November. Kim organized the large animal operatives locally and Dra. Ileana Gonzalez looked after the small animal operatives.
Since the visit of our president in the Dominican Republic in 2012 it has been clear to us that we want to help Kim Beddall and the Samaná dogs. We succeeded in realizing Kim’s dream to coach Dr. Francis to become a capable surgeon.
April 2013 we could send a second team of vets, Dr. Katja Schirren, Dr. Nadja Spies, Romina Turco and Daniela Meyer.
In August we' sent 2 complete sets of surgical instruments to him and Kim rented the upstairs of the building where Dr. Francis has his office as a surgery.
Tropical storm Gabrielle showed the flaws of the building: Flaking paint from a leaky ceiling falling down and stopped up drain pipes flooding the room…
Major repairs were necessary. The porch was renovated and the roof was sealed. A new outside staircase was built and security bars were installed to protect the precious equipment and materials inside.
A happy Dr. Francis with inhalation anesthesia machine of "Project Samaná", OP-tables and stainless steel shelves to store materials.
But Dr. Francis, who has learnt from Dr. Kashef to spay and neuter everything including pregnant bitches, had still problems with the inhalation anaesthesia machine.
During the first week of November he had the opportunity to practice surgical preparation and anaesthesia with the veterinary team of Dr. Bob Labdon.
186 dogs and cats were spayed and neuterd during this operative, among them also our candidates.
Dr. Tarek El-Kashef returned to Samaná February 7th - 21st 2014 to continue his work with Dr. Francis, followed by Dr. Katja Schirren who was there February 21st - March 7th. Both vets confirmed that Dr. Francis is an accomplished surgeon now, capable of both operating and anaesthesia, prepping and post-operative care.
The team of Dr. Bob Labdon (Cape Cod Veterinary Association) and Dr. Jay Mirriam (Massachusetts Equine and Equitarian Project) celebrate a successful operative and – the twentieth anniversary of Project Samaná!
In addition to spay and neuter, the project Samaná dogs provides food for strays, teaches compassion towards animals to the local youth and re-homes animals: Kim Beddall at work feeding Samaná street dogs and teaching children the right treatment of animals.
Meanwhile Dr. Francis has been offered steady employment by the department of agriculture of Samaná. He is presently being trained to perform all necessary tasks and tests to guarantee the health of the region’s livestock. This employment helps to ensure that Dr. Francis, who cannot live of animal welfare alone, can stay in Samaná and therefore will be available for poor animals also in the future.
Apart from the clinics, we managed to sponsor 20 spays and neuters 2013. Most of these candidates you can visit here.
In June 2014 Dr. Francis worked during the operative of the American Project Samana team of Dr. Bob Labdon at his own table and operated just like a visiting vet.
Dr. Labdon commented that the change is Francis over the last two years was significant and impressive. Dr. Francis is now ready to operate where ever and whenever he is needed.
Our special thanks Dr. Tarek El-Kashef who has been his coach over several months!
We will continue to send vets to Samaná and to provide further sponsoring for Dr. Francis‘ surgeries.